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The National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) has issued a public statement noting that members of the media may have exaggerated and misinformed the public concerning the payment of Nuclear Installation Site Licence fees by Eskom to the NNR.

The regulator highlighted one area of misinformation reported in the media concerns the statement that “the payment will secure Eskom a nuclear installation site licence (NISL) for Thuyspunt.”

The regulator stressed: “This statement is incorrect and the NNR can confirm that payment of application fees by any applicant to the NNR does not automatically secure a nuclear authorisation.”

Orion Phillips, Regulatory Executive Nuclear Power Plants, explained: “The NNR carries out work in terms of a licence fee levied on a cost recovery basis for work performed by technical experts in the field of meteorology, oceanography, and geo-hydrology.

“In this instance, the fees paid by Eskom will be for the review of the safety characteristics of the site to determine safety aspects such as seismic safety, emergency preparedness, potential dose to members of the public living within the vicinity of the site, and the environmental impact from a radiation safety perspective.”

The NNR’s internal review of the mentioned application is at an advanced stage and once completed, the NNR will continue with the second stage of its public participation process at an appropriate time.